The dating radius

I met someone I liked unexpectedly at a party. He was smart and witty, interesting to talk to, with ambition and charisma and all those things you look for. We went round for round after the bar tab closed, and he put his hand around my waist as he leaned down to hear me speak against the live music.

I was flirting, but of course I was. It’s my go-to social crutch – stick the boobs out, make jokes about how big they are and watch the men fall over themselves trying not to look. It’s fun, harmless, an ice-breaker.

We talked about careers and travel and music, of hobbies and family. For the most part, the conversation also included two other women seated at our table. And sometimes he talked to me not at all, engaging only with other people nearby. I honestly had no idea he was interested in me. I was only there for the night for our mutual friend’s birthday and we lived 200km apart. He had already mentioned during a group discussion about dating etiquette that he didn’t sleep with women on the first date or do one-night stands.

When the party venue called last drinks, the small group of us that remained organised Ubers to take us into town. At the next bar, we ordered more drinks and our group took over the tiny dance floor. I couldn’t remember the last time I danced in a bar, the spinning mirror ball sending cascades of light across drunken, writhing bodies.

The he kissed me. I saw it coming only a second before it happened. I snaked my hand behind his head pulling him into me and he pulled my body close. Then I spun from his grasp and danced some more in an effort to cover my surprise.

He was drunk, as was I, but I had no idea what to expect next. The thought still hadn’t occurred to me that he would want to come back to my hotel. He had seemed pretty adamant about his dating values.

When he kissed me again, he held me tighter and I ran my hand down his body to his crotch to rub his cock through his jeans.

“Do you want to get out of here?” he asked.

“You want to leave?”

“If you want to. Do you want to come with me?”

“I thought you didn’t do this sort of thing?”

“I don’t.”

“Well, are you sure you want to?”

“Yes. I really want to.”

“OK, let me find D and say goodbye.”

But I couldn’t find Don the dance floor or outside on the balcony. I said goodbye to some of the other people I’d met that night and my surprise kisser and I left. I remember little of the short Uber ride back to my hotel, only that I asked him several times if he was sure he wanted to come back with me.

In my hotel room, he kissed me and pushed me back onto the bed. We pulled at each other’s clothes, wrangling with boots and jackets, and I slipped out of my dress while he stepped out of his jeans. I was already wet from kissing and he slid inside me easily, despite his very pleasingly sized cock.

But, he was drunk, drunker than I first thought. We fucked this way and that but it was evident he was not in a great way. I assured him it was OK, offered him a line to perk up (which he declined) and suggested he have some water while I showered.

When I was finished, I found him dozing, curled up on the bed. I crept in beside him with no expectations, disappointed but also quite happy to go to sleep. It was close to 3am.

“Do you want me to go?” he asked.

“No, you’re fine. Just sleep.”

“I don’t want to sleep though.”

“Well, we don’t have to. I just thought you needed to.”

“I want to fuck you.”

We kissed as he hand stroked between my legs, rubbing my clit aggressively.

“Have you ever made a woman squirt before?” I asked.

“No,” he said.

“Let me show you.”

I directed his fingers inside me and set a rhythmic pace I knew could usually make me gush and soon he was rewarded.

“Oh fuck! Wow! OK,” he exclaimed.

But I wasn’t done. I pulled him down on top of me and urged him to fuck me hard.

I spat out every dirty phrase I could think of as he thrust into me, begging him to empty his balls inside my cunt. It worked. He came hard and loud before slumping exhausted next to me. I had already learned that it had been awhile since he’d last fucked.

My coke high has long since faded and I was sated and ready to sleep.

In the morning, woken early by forgotten alarms, we fucked again and I finished him off with a blow job. We dozed for awhile before he said he was leaving, kissed me lightly and left. We didn’t exchange contact details. I didn’t even know his surname.

A couple of hours later, I was also up and on the road for the long drive home for a family birthday. It wasn’t until much later that afternoon that I had time to open Tinder.

In my “likes” folder, I found him. He must have swiped right on me in the couple of hours between my arrival in the city and the party. When I matched him, I asked if he’d recognised me at the party.

Nope! Didn’t recognise you. I have it [search radius] set at 30km.

We chatted back and forth, recalling a few conversations from the night before, when he asked me what I was looking for on Tinder.

The big question. I’m looking for someone to delete the app with. What are you on here for?

Yeah, the same. I guess what I was getting at and wasn’t direct enough. Why are we chatting here? I thought 30km was a stretch.

Oh, you don’t want to chat? Sorry

No I wasn’t saying that. I’m just a little confused, happy to chat.

No that’s OK. I get it.

I’m just not really a distance person.

Yeah I understand.

And that was that.

It’s not like we necessarily expect to find the love of our lives within an arbitrary radius of where we live, it’s just we’re too lazy to search outside it or too pragmatic to try long distance.

It is so typical of modern dating culture to rule something out before it’s even begun. When did we all stop trying? When did we all stop making an effort? I’ve travelled further for job interviews than someone I liked. I’ve shown more tolerance for bad internet providers than I have poor spelling on Tinder bios.

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